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  • 2003 Archive

  • Vol. 5, No. 35
    Whole #128
    August 22, 2003
    Edited by Lynn Betlock and Rod D. Moody

    Greetings from the New England Historic Genealogical Society! This free newsletter has been sent to NEHGS members and friends who have subscribed to it, or submitted their email addresses on various membership and sales department forms and website notices. NEHGS recognizes the importance of its members' privacy, and will not give away, sell or lease personal information. If you would like to unsubscribe, please click on the link at the bottom of the page and follow the instructions provided.


    • New Databases on
    • New Research Article on
    • Clarification to Last Week's e-News
    • Join NEHGS at the FGS Conference in Orlando, Florida, September 3–6, 2003
    • Just Added to — Best of Volume V of NEHGS NEXUS
    • Newbury Street Press Featured Product: A Rhoads Family History: The Family and Ancestry of Jay Roscoe Rhoads
    • Borrow Lectures From the NEHGS Summer Conference
    • New Book by NEHGS Members — The Wampanoag: Genealogical History of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
    • History Websites for Genealogists
    • Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback
    • NEHGS Contact Information

    New Databases on

    Records of Jonesboro, Maine

    These records were transcribed by Margaret Kelley Ashe in 1937. This transcription extracts birth and marriage records from the old town books, which were found by the transcriber at the residence of the town clerk. The records include the years 1765 to 1891. The birth records are arranged by family in the original text, with parents' names followed by the names of their children. This formatting has been retained for the database. The town of Jonesboro, in Washington County, was organized in 1809.

    Search Vital Records of Jonesboro, Maine, at

    Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections

    This week we have added transcriptions from the following cemeteries and burial grounds in the town of Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire:

    Baker Plot, Brown Plot, C Plot, Coleman Plot, Dame Plot, David Tuttle Plot, Dover Point Cemetery #2, Drew Plot #1, Drew Plot #2, Drew Plot #3, Drew-Horne Plot, Drouin Plot, Eaton Plot, French Stone, Graziani Plot, Hanson Memorial Tablet, Hanson Plot, Hanson-Thompson Plot, Hayes Memorial Hill Plot, Hillsgrove Memorial Horne Plot, Hussey Plot #1, Hussey Plot #2, Jenkins Plot, Kelley Plot, Kimball Plot, Knoll Cemetery Leighton Plot, McDuffee Plot, Meader Plot, Meserve Plot, Meserve Stone Nute Plot, Nute-Dam Plot, Oldest Burial Ground, Opposite Oldest Burial Ground, Page-Waldron Plot, Paul Plot, Peaslee Plot, Pine Hill Cemetery, Rollins Plot, Starfford County Asylum Monument, Thompson Plot, Torr Plot, Tuttle Plot #1, Tuttle Plot #2, Twombly Plot, Varney Plot, Waldron Plot, Wentworth Plot #1, Wentworth Plot #2, Wentworth Plot #3, Young Plot.

    Search Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections at

    New Research Article on

    Nineteenth-Century Beers Atlases and Local Maps on CD-ROM
    by Maureen A. Taylor

    Here's a great way to get to know a Massachusetts town — walk into the past by consulting an old map. If you've never tried walking in your ancestor's footsteps then you are missing a unique experience. Take an historical map of your town that shows landmarks and buildings and walk any street that appears on the map. You won't believe how it has changed. You will notice differences in names, structures, and even building usage. It's a great activity for kids too. Using a map of the neighborhood of their school or the street they live on, ask the children to identify what has changed. This is a fun activity that also lets them appreciate history. However, you won't be able to take that walk unless you have an historical Massachusetts town map or a reproduction of one. Now that the 1870 Beers County Atlas CD Collection of Massachusetts is available from Piper Publishing, studying the past has never been easier.

    Read the full review at

    Clarification to Last Week's e-News

    In last week's edition of eNews, we included an article announcing the extension of Sunday research library hours past the initial trial period. In this article we neglected to mention that the library will be closed on Sundays during the entire month of December.

    For a complete library schedule, including holiday closings, please visit


    Join NEHGS at the FGS Conference in Orlando, Florida, September 3–6, 2003

    The New England Historic Genealogical Society will be participating in the Federation of Genealogical Societies' Conference in Orlando, Florida, from September 3-6, 2003. Featuring over 200 different presentations, the FGS Conference is one of the major genealogical events of the year. This year's conference will be held at the Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld.

    Conference attendees can hear lectures by the following NEHGS staff members:

    Michael J. Leclerc, NEHGS director of electronic publications, will speak on

    • "The Goldmine in Québec's Notarial Records" on Thursday, September 4
    • "New England Online: Tracing Your Ancestors Using" on Friday, September 5

    Laura G. Prescott, membership campaign director, will present

    • "Diaries & Journals: Finding and Using These Valuable Resources" on Wednesday, September 3
    • "And to Think That I Saw It on Newbury Street: Treasures from the NEHGS Collection" on Thursday, September 4 (NEHGS luncheon talk; reservation required)
    • "Timelines: Placing Your Heritage in Historical Perspective" on Friday, September 5

    All conference attendees are invited to visit the NEHGS booth (#406) in the exhibit hall at the Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld. To highlight the wide variety of resources on, we will be offering website demonstrations throughout the day. This is also your chance to see the most recent NEHGS books, such as < Vol. 1634-1635, England, New to Immigrants Migration: Great>and Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century: A Guide to Register Style and More, as well as the latest NEHGS CDs: < Providence Island Rhode State Colony of and the>and Plymouth Church Records, 1620 to 1850.

    In addition, NEHGS will be hosting a book-signing at the booth. Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, the author of a number of genealogical books, including the newly-released You Can Write Your Family History, will sign books from 3 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, September 5.

    The exhibit hall hours are as follows:

    Thursday, September 4 — 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    Friday, September 5 — 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    Saturday, September 6 — 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    If you would like information about attending the conference, you can contact the Federation of Genealogical Societies at 1-888-FGS-1500 or visit their website at

    To contact the New England Historic Genealogical Society about its participation in the FGS conference, please call Lynn Betlock at 1-617-226-1210 or email

    We hope to see you in Orlando!



    Just Added to — Best of Volume V of NEHGS NEXUS

    From 1983 to 1999, the NEHGS NEXUS newsletter presented a variety of research articles from genealogists and staff librarians, as well as Society events, genealogy news, queries, and reviews. We continue to add selected articles from past issues to our website on a regular basis. This week we have added selected articles from the six issues that comprise Volume V, published in 1988.

    Read the NEXUS at


    Newbury Street Press Featured Product: A Rhoads Family History: The Family and Ancestry of Jay Roscoe Rhoads

    We continue to spotlight selected books published by the Newbury Street Press. Featured NSP books will be available at a discounted price for a limited time. This week we feature A Rhoads Family History: The Family and Ancestry of Jay Roscoe Rhoads, by Patricia Law Hatcher, CG, FASG, and edited by D. Brenton Simons. This title is on sale until August 31 at the NEHGS online store for $30.00 (regular price $75), plus shipping and handling.

    The ancestry of Jay Roscoe Rhoads extended from the American progenitor, Jacob Roth, who came to the Oley Valley in Berks County, Pennsylvania in the early eighteenth century from Bad Rappenau in the Wurtemberg province of Germany. This detailed family history commences with a biography of Jay Roscoe Rhoads (1895–1983) who, with his family, lived on Philadelphia's Main Line. Sections within are devoted to personal recollections; a discussion of his industrial textiles firm, Rhoads & Company; remembrances from his children and business associates; and the Rhoads genealogy.

    Order A Rhoads Family History: The Family and Ancestry of Jay Roscoe Rhoads from the NEHGS online store at


    Borrow Lectures from NEHGS Summer Conference
    by Alexander Woodle, Circulating Library Director

    In last week's edition of the eNews, I mistakenly referred to the audiotapes listed as Nutshell Lecture Tapes. These were actually tapes from the Boston Summer Conference sponsored by NEHGS in July of this year. However, the process to borrow them is exactly the same. This week I list the remaining Boston Summer Conference lectures:

    •Migration Out of New England by David Dearborn. F3/N49/2003a/no. F-1.

    •Genealogy Research on the Internet: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Dick Eastman. F3/N49/2003a/no. KN-1.

    •Congregational Church Records: More or Less than Meets the Eye by Harold F. Worthley. F3/N49/2003a/no. F-2.

    •Geography, Religion, & Warfare: Why People Moved Within Colonial New England by Ralph J. Crandall. F3/N49/2003a/no. GS-1.

    •Genealogical Research in Colonial Connecticut by Barbara Jean Mathews. F3/N49/2003a/no. F-4.

    •Recent Findings in Mayflower Research by Ann S. Lainhart. F3/N49/2003a/no. F-5.

    •The New England Core in Print: The Best Reference Works and Compiled Genealogies by Gary Boyd Roberts. F3/N49/2003a/no. S-10.

    •Maine: Not as Difficult as You May Think by David Dearborn. F3/N49/2003a/no. S-8.

    •Genealogical Writing: Style Guidelines and Practical Advice by Henry Hoff. F3/N49/2003a/no. S-9.

    •Researching Your Vermont Families by Scott Andrew Bartley. F3/N49/2003a/no. F-8.

    As always, if you have any questions about using the circulating library, please call, toll-free, 1-888-296-3447, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time) or email To learn more about the circulating library and borrow books online, please visit

    New Book by NEHGS Members — The Wampanoag: Genealogical History of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

    NEHGS members Dr. Jerome D. Segel and R. Andrew Pierce have just published The Wampanoag: Genealogical History of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts (Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 2003). This 679-page volume comprises "Island History, People, and Places from Sustained Contact Through the Early Federal Period." Dr. Segel and Mr. Pierce have assembled a comprehensive genealogical study of the Wampanoag tribe and successfully contrast their own study with that of Charles E. Banks' History of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, by stating that Banks "... is woefully inadequate in his treatment of the Wampanoags and their contributions to the island's history." Prior to the publication of this book, no serious effort was ever made to present the complete historical record of the Wampanoag families, the original setters of the island.

    The present book, though largely a genealogical study, will also appeal to those with an interest in the history of the native culture on Martha's Vineyard and its place in the overall history and development of the island. The main portion of this book is a compendium listing every Native American with island connections whose name was found in seventeenth and eighteenth-century land records and deeds; mortgages; leases and wills; and court, vital, military, maritime, religious, and census records. Also included is a listing of repositories used for research, an island chronology, a comprehensive bibliography, copious illustrations (including genealogical charts, photos and maps) and a preview to the forthcoming Volume II.

    The Wampanoag: Genealogical History of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts is available in hardcover for $85 (shipping is additional). To order, please visit the NEHGS online store at, call the sales department toll-free at 888-296-3447, or email

    History Websites for Genealogists

    There are many, many history websites that are useful for family historians. Often, though, genealogists are much more familiar with genealogy websites than history websites. Listed below are a selection of U.S. colonial history websites and their descriptions, as featured

    The Plymouth Colony Archive Web Site (
    This site focuses on Plymouth from 1620 to 1691 and has been selected as one of the best humanities sites on the Internet by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Features fully searchable texts of early laws, court records, wills, and probates; analyses of the colony legal structure, domestic relations, early settlement, criminal records, and interactions of the Wampanoag people and the colonists; biographical and social network profiles of members of the colony; a study of social and legal relationships between indentured servants and masters; archaeological analysis of house plans and material culture; and fully searchable seventeenth-century texts.

    America as a Religious Refuge: the 17th Century (Library of Congress) (
    Part of a special exhibit by the Library of Congress, this site provides an interesting mix of images, primary text, and background information on the role of religion in the European settlement of America.

    The American Colonist's Library (
    A collection of historical works which contributed to the formation of American politics, culture, and ideals.

    Salem Witch Trials (
    This site is a documentary archive of the Salem Witch Trials and features court records, personal letters, maps of the area, and a Salem Witch Trials game.

    Famous American Trials: Salem Witch Trials (
    This site include transcripts of trial records and examinations of six accused witches and other relevant primary source documents.

    Salem (National Geographic) (
    A flashy and interactive introduction to the Salem Witch trials where the visitor "experiences" the trials.

    Digital History (
    Digital History provides links to American history websites by period and offers historical overviews, readings (online textbook chapter, Reader's Companion) primary source documents (documents, maps, cartoons), teaching resources (chronologies, maps, quizzes), audio-visual resources, and additional resources. It is an excellent and comprehensive teaching resource.

    If you have any history — or genealogy — websites you'd like to share with eNews readers, please email

    Favorite — and Black Sheep — Ancestor Feedback

    Each week we ask the questions "Who is your favorite ancestor? Who is your favorite black sheep ancestor? Why?" If you would like to contribute information on your favorite and/or black sheep ancestor, please send your story in 300 words or less to Lynn Betlock at Thank you to all past and future contributors!

    "A Very Inglorious History But a Real Slice of Life"
    by Gay Byrne of Wyckoff, New Jersey

    My favorite ancestor is also a Black Sheep. Daniel Francis O'Connor (abt 1828–1894) was born in Ireland, emigrated about 1850 in the massive wave of destitute Irish, and was reported to have served in the Civil War, but for some unknown reason his grave was not identified as that of a veteran. I was determined to find out more!

    The mystery was solved once I located his pension application file in the National Archives. Over one hundred pages later we discovered why no one had bragged about his years of service. His widow had been denied a pension because he had been a deserter! The file was a treasure-trove of genealogical information complete with depositions by many relatives and associates. We were rewarded with a picture of the life and times of our ancestor which would never have been possible had he lived a life on the straight and narrow.

    Daniel had enlisted on Christmas Eve, 1864, in what we suspect was a drunken binge that started in New York City and ended in New Haven, Connecticut three days later. He had left his five-year-old daughter in a bakery while he visited a local tavern. He didn't come home that afternoon and a constable brought his daughter back home. His wife searched for him for days in police stations, hospitals, and morgues. He contacted her three days later from New Haven, where he had enlisted. This would have been fine, except that about two weeks short of the minimum ninety day enlistment he returned to New York AWOL, complaining of a sore foot.

    This was not the end of the story. A week later Daniel took $750 from a man in New Jersey to enlist as a paid substitute. He was worried that his desertion would be revealed if he enlisted under his own name, so he enlisted under an alias using his mother's maiden name of Quinn. As Daniel Quinn he served honorably and was discharged in the summer of 1865 after the war was over, never having seen a day of fighting.

    A government investigator eventually unravelled the tawdry story and our ancestor was denied a pension under his true legal name for the original desertion.

    A very inglorious history but a real slice of life.


    NEHGS Contact Information

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    To become a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, please visit

    If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about the enewsletter, please contact Lynn Betlock at

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